Geoffrey Bawa was a Sri Lankan architect who popularised “tropical modernism”, a design style that blends buildings with the natural landscape.
The owners of BAWA, a cafe in Hawthorn, have adopted more than just his name, and have created a space in which nature rules. Leafy plants burst from light fittings. Jungle prints hang on the walls. The windows along the street-side open completely bringing the outside in.
The menu is clever. The chia pudding with rosewater and passionfruit foam is summery and light. The potato roesti with braised pork, eggs and a florescent-green herby hollandaise is a hearty option.
Coffee is from Dukes and there are some creative options beyond the normal flat white. A shot of espresso is mixed with tonic water, a squeeze of lime and a dash of sugar syrup to create the Black Tonic. Iced coffees come with a specially made skim milk that has been whipped to foam, a little like a Greek frappe.